The bi-generation house, a well thought out choice

A Definition

The bi-generation house is the type of construction sometimes considered to facilitate access to property for young adults ready to assume responsibility, or oftentimes by parents or grand-parents who are in need of assistance (loss of autonomy or other reasons). Whatever the situation, this type of construction allows each to preserve their way of living and conserve a certain intimacy, all the while enjoying the advantages of co-ownership and the close proximity of family members.

The particularity of bi-generation homes is the combination of the practical aspect of two homes to appear as one single-family or conventional home.  This permits integration of this type of construction in sectors where conventional multi-family units are not permitted.

The main challenge in this type of design is to bring together two independent interior layouts to look like one single conventional home where both layouts need to be private and functional, while respecting the needs of all the occupants.  As we will see later, municipal regulations are also an important element with which people must deal, but the first thing to do is determine the needs which brought us to consider this type of construction.

Style and Design

The design of a single family home is a procedure which requires a lot of attention and comprehension on the part of the home owners as well as the designer who will accompany them in their project.  This step is even more important and the challenge greater when combining the needs of two families, including one or more family members with restrained mobility or loss of autonomy.

When considering such a construction, it is of prime importance to take the time to evaluate your requirements and to consider these from the family viewpoint as well as those of parents or grand-parents.  We must also take into account the years to come and possible future needs.  Aging home owners or those in need of assistance should evaluate what their situation may be in years to come and foresee now what type of layout will best suit their lifestyle for both today and future.  It is at this step that we must consider all the elements which will make this home a comfortable, peaceful and pleasing haven for its occupants.

The choice of a trusted professional is also a key element to success in this type of design.  You should ensure that all the needs of the future occupants are taken into consideration and that satisfactory solutions are put forth for each.  A good designer must equally be able to offer judicious advice to a future home owner while remaining within a pre-established budget.

Another of the many advantages is that even though it is a bi-generation home with the look of a conventional single-family home, it can be harmonized with a sought-after style.  Amateurs of Victorian-, manor- or contemporary-style homes, it is certainly possible to adapt this type of home to one’s preferences, to get away from the multi-family unit options which the future home owners may possibly have already considered.

Pooling together both families’ resources greatly facilitates the purchases and maintenance of such a home and the bi-generation home offers without a doubt tranquil proximity, security and well being, including the joys of family life.

Written by Marie-France Roger View all posts by this author →

Daughter of Drummond House Plans founders, I was only 3 years old when my parents started the company, which explain my passion for residential architecture! I love travelling, red wine and HGTV! Mother of three beautiful young adults and co-owner of Drummond House Plans since 2002 with my best friend and husband, Yves Carignan.

There are 7 comments for this article
  1. Danielle Gingras at 18 h 31 min

    I saw the comments of ‘Bi generation My grandfather wants to live with me and we are serching for a plan of single level, bi=generation house. Do you have any suggesitons

  2. Daniele Gingras at 17 h 12 min

    Bi generation 2 in 1, separte living quarters, yet a common door connecting, single level, I can not find such a plan. Please help

  3. jlanglois at 9 h 17 min

    Hello Mrs Gingras,

    Thank you for your interest in our company and it’s designs. Please excuse the delay in answering your question. We were unfortunate enough and experienced some technical difficulties with our blog. Everything is now back to normal.

    In regards to the plan you are researching, I took the time to research, with your requirements, and I believe I found 5 plans that may well fit your description. Here are the plan numbers and the direct link to access each plan on our web site:

    Should you wish to bring modifications to a plan, our team of profesionnal technicians can contact you in order to offer you a free cost estimate on any house plan modifications. If this is of interest to you, please reply this e-mail and a technician will contact you shortly. If you would like to talk to our people, please, leave me your phone number in your e-mail reply.

    We look forward to hearing back from you!

  4. Sara Lockhart at 22 h 42 min

    Why can’t I find a plan with four children’s bedrooms on the second floor sharing a bath + a full master suite on one end of the house and a bonus room for the kids on over the garage? Of course I also need a little apartment on the main floor for mother but I don’t want to give her half the floor space. I found a LOVELY yellow craftsman on this site but I would need to change the roofline over the front door to accomodate the fourth bedroom and I don’t know if that would wreck the design. Is it troublesome to also stretch a garage and add a sleeping room to one end (main floor)? Why do most plans with many bedrooms also include 20 other non-essential rooms and individual bathrooms? How much does a brand new design cost? I know what I want, but I am certain it’s not out there.

  5. Arlington Virginia Real Estate at 10 h 32 min

    I agree that pooling together both families’ resources greatly facilitates the purchases and maintenance. Buying a home is big responsibility and every one has to be on board, because buying and designing your dream home can quickly become nightmare.

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